Thursday, January 29, 2015

Tonight I read an article (click here) in short, about a Utah high school girl being shamed because her outfit was deemed inappropriate for their school dance. Check out this picture of the wildly inappropriate (enter sarcasm) outfit below:

Now what kills me about this story particularly is that this outfit is beautiful and demure and perfect for a 16 year old girl to wear. However upon entering her dance, instead of feeling proud she was immediately asked by a school official to cover her shoulders. Because apparently her dress didn't meet the approval of the school dress code. This dress code is enforced so as to rid boys of "unclean thoughts". So cover your bare shoulders little girl.

Now we are all aware of the wide assortment of body shaming we as women have to deal with everyday, but this is entirely new to me. The realization that we are to feel anything but comfortable in our God given skin. That we should be shamed in covering up a normal outfit because we don't want cat calls from men, or to elicit unclean thoughts from the opposite sex. Now correct me if I'm wrong but shouldn't the objectification of girls be the issue that is dealt with.

The issue that we've created such a sexualized idea of the women's body that women no longer feel comfortable showing any part of it. Isn't the issue that a girl can't walk down the street in a pair of shorts without getting cat calls from boys? That you have to deal with the inevitable and penetrating stares anytime you choose to wear something that hugs your beautiful body? It's ludicrous to me that we are pinning this on the girls and women as something we should be ashamed about.

I think people should be ashamed of treating girls' bodies as an object. Treating women as if they don't have feelings about the way you react to them. And the comment that kills me is "well what do you expect?" Let's see, I expect to be able to walk out of the house on a scorching day wearing shorts without feeling like I'm going to be eaten alive by 80% of the male population. I expect my daughter to be able to wear normal clothes when she grows up without the perpetual awareness that this will attract sexual attention. This creates self-consciousness, it creates a false ego, and it tells our girls that all they have to be proud of and offer boys is their bodies. That's a load of shit.

Can we teach our girls to be proud of their bodies? Show them how to dress like a lady but feed the idea that beauty isn't just your flesh. Can we teach our boys that bodies are beautiful things, but to have respect and manners. That it's ok to have these desires but that beauty goes beyond the physical and delves into the mental and spiritual aspect of every girl they see? To treat girls the way they'd want their daughters to be treated?

It is not anyones responsibility to conform or change themselves in order to manage the thoughts of other people. Thus it is not this 16 year old girl's responsibility to cover up her bare shoulders to ward of unclean thoughts of boys. So stop putting that responsibility on women and let's teach our youth better.

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